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We provide an overview of the monetary policy failures that resulted in the 2007–2008 financial crisis and ensuing Great Recession, focusing on the United States. Before the crisis, monetary policy was too loose, which fueled the bubble. After the bubble burst, monetary policy became too tight, hindering the recovery. These failures are fundamentally due to the Federal Reserve’s discretionary monetary policy. Furthermore, the popular approach of “constrained discretion” is really just discretion. Hence, it is sensitive to all the usual problems with discretionary monetary policy. Only firm monetary rules, ones that actually bind, can maintain macroeconomic stability and prevent crises.
Orthodox monetary policy scholarship assumes that central bankers act to maximize the public welfare. If imperfect incentives enter the model, it is on the part of the public. We challenge this assumption. Monetary policymakers are just as prone to incentive problems, which cause them to act according to their own self-interest. Furthermore, the self-interest of policymakers is not always the same thing as the public welfare. The two diverge frequently, in fact. We survey the history of the Federal Reserve and show the numerous ways discretionary central bankers have been compromised. These incentive problems are an inherent feature of discretion. They can only be eliminated by embracing true monetary rules.
We analyze the information problems inherent in discretionary monetary policy. Discretionary central bankers confront immense informational burdens. Some of these are technical problems only, and can in principle be overcome. But there is also a genuine knowledge problem involved in discretionary monetary policy: reacting in real time to changes in the demand for money. This problem is unsolvable. It renders discretionary central banking systematically unlikely to achieve macroeconomic stability. In contrast, rules-based policy does not confront a knowledge problem.
We conclude by situating the theory and practice of monetary policy within liberal political economy more generally. As we have seen, there are significant tensions between existing monetary institutions (discretionary central banking) and liberal ideals. This has been made even clearer by the Federal Reserve’s response to COVID-19. In brief, the Fed is now engaging in not only monetary policy but fiscal policy as well. This represents an immense expansion in its mandate, one that poses serious challenges for general and predictable monetary policy. The way out of this mess is embracing a comparative institutions approach to monetary policy. We cannot be satisfied with technical refinements to existing models and data. We need to explore alternative monetary policy rules, ones that are effective at providing macroeconomic stability while also respecting the requirements of democracy.
At root, the problems with the Federal Reserve (and many other central banks) are institutional. The repeated recessions and crises in the era of the Fed show that we need a radical reimagination of the basic institutions of monetary policy. In this chapter, we survey the work of the three great classically liberal Nobel laureates of the twentieth century – James Buchanan, F. A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman – to show that each of them gave serious consideration to monetary-institutional fundamentals. Our focus is not on their particular conclusions, but on how they thought about the problems of monetary institutional design. This represents a very different style of scholarship than macroeconomists and monetary economists currently practice. Unless scholars engage the research projects of Buchanan, Hayek, and Friedman, research in monetary economics will not be of much help in achieving lasting macroeconomic stability.
Financial crises are widely perceived to be the reason monetary rules cannot work. The extraordinary challenges posed by crises require policymakers to act discretionarily. We show that this argument is not only wrong but backward: It is more important than ever to have true rules for monetary policy, which actually bind, to cope with financial crises. We show how the Fed failed to respond appropriately to the 2007–2008 crisis. Contrary to the then chairman Bernanke’s public statements, the Fed did not behave as an orthodox lender of last resort. Instead, it experimented with dubious policies that further entrenched moral hazard in the financial system. We criticize these policies, as well as an approach to economics, which we call “triage economics,” that mistakenly supposes the basic rules of price theory provided no guidance in crafting policy responses to crises. A rules-based approach to monetary policy is thus consistent with extreme market turbulence. In fact, rules are how such turbulence is pacified.
In this chapter, we focus on the idea of the rule of law in the classical liberal tradition. The rule of law is a basic jurisprudential norm that undergirds liberal democracies. We show that discretionary central banking is inconsistent with the rule of law. Discretionary central banking fails the test of generality: It benefits special interests, but not the public as a whole. Also, discretionary banking fails the test of predictability: It does not create an environment conducive to reliable public expectations of future policy. For these reasons, it is unlikely that discretionary central banking can be reconciled with self-governance. We reaffirm the imperative of liberal democracy, as well as uncovering monetary institutions that are compatible with liberal democracy. Until we do so, we fail to meet the basic challenge of self-governance.
Contemporary monetary institutions are flawed at a foundational level. The reigning paradigm in monetary policy holds up constrained discretion as the preferred operating framework for central banks. But no matter how smart or well-intentioned are central bankers, discretionary policy contains information and incentive problems that make macroeconomic stability systematically unlikely. Furthermore, central bank discretion implicitly violates the basic jurisprudential norms of liberal democracy. Drawing on a wide body of scholarship, this volume presents a novel argument in favor of embedding monetary institutions into a rule of law framework. The authors argue for general, predictable rules to provide a sturdier foundation for economic growth and prosperity. A rule of law approach to monetary policy would remedy the flaws that resulted in misguided monetary responses to the 2007-8 financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding the case for true monetary rules is the first step toward creating more stable monetary institutions.
The first demonstration of laser action in ruby was made in 1960 by T. H. Maiman of Hughes Research Laboratories, USA. Many laboratories worldwide began the search for lasers using different materials, operating at different wavelengths. In the UK, academia, industry and the central laboratories took up the challenge from the earliest days to develop these systems for a broad range of applications. This historical review looks at the contribution the UK has made to the advancement of the technology, the development of systems and components and their exploitation over the last 60 years.
This chapter is a close reading of Julie Taymor’s 1999 Titus and Ralph Fiennes’s 2010 Coriolanus. Both films challenge the stock image of historical Rome in Taymor’s case by extensive allusion to other iconic films, costumes and settings; in Fiennes’s case by updating the film’s action to the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. In these differing ways, both films insist on the omnipresence of violence. The chapter concludes that this apparent rejection of a stereotypical or immediately recognisable Roman setting is actually closer to the ambiguous sense of the classical seat of empire that Shakespeare’s first audiences may have harboured. Rome is less a physical place and more of an idea but it is an idea riddled with contradictions. Neither film attempts to erase these contradictions; indeed, their stress on anachrony causes both to recapitulate the uncertainties, regarding Rome, of the plays’ early audiences.
Multiple herbicide-resistant populations of horseweed [Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist] continue to spread rapidly throughout Ontario, notably in areas where no-till soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is grown. The occurrence of multiple herbicide resistance within these populations suggests that the future role of herbicide tank mixtures as a means of control will be limited. An integrated weed management strategy utilizing complementary selection pressures is needed to reduce the selection intensity of relying solely on herbicides for control. Field studies were conducted in 2018 and 2019 to test the hypothesis: if fall-seeded cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) can reduce C. canadensis seedling density and suppress seedling growth, then the interaction(s) of complementary selection pressures of tillage, cereal rye, and herbicides would improve the level of C. canadensis control. Laboratory studies were conducted to determine whether the allelopathic compound 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA) affected the root development of C. canadensis seedlings. The interactions observed among multiple selection pressures of tillage, cereal rye, and herbicides were inconsistent between the 2 yr of study. A monoculture of cereal rye seeded in the fall, however, did reduce seedling height and biomass of C. canadensis consistently, but not density. This reduction in seedling height and biomass was likely caused by the allelopathic compound BOA, which reduced seedling root development. Control of C. canadensis seedlings in the spring required the higher registered rates of dicamba or saflufenacil. The addition of shallow fall tillage and the presence of cereal rye did not improve the variability in control observed notably with 2,4-D or the lower rates of saflufenacil or dicamba. With the implementation of complementary weed management strategies, environmental variables in any given year will likely have a direct influence on whether these interactions are additive or synergistic.
Background: Estimating the burden of intestinal colonization with antibiotic-resistant gram-negative bacteria (AR-GNB) is critical to understanding their global epidemiology and spread. We aimed to determine the prevalence of, and risk factors for, intestinal colonization due to AR-GNB in population-based hospital and community settings in Chile. Methods: Between December 2018 and May 2019, we enrolled randomly selected hospitalized adults in 4 tertiary-care public hospitals (Antofagasta, Santiago, Curico and Puerto Montt), and adults residing in a community-based cohort in the rural town of Molina. Following informed consent, we collected rectal swabs and epidemiological information through a standardized questionnaire. Swabs were plated onto MacConkey agar with 2 µg/mL ciprofloxacin or ceftazidime. All recovered morphotypes were identified, and antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed via disk diffusion. The primary outcome was the prevalence of colonization with fluoroquinolone (FQ)- or third-generation cephalosporin (3GC)–resistant GNB. The secondary outcome was the prevalence of colonization with multidrug-resistant (MDR) GNB, defined as GNB resistant to ≥3 antibiotic classes. Categories were not mutually exclusive. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed to describe risk factors for colonization with these categories. Results: In total, 775 hospitalized adults and 357 community participants were enrolled, with a median age of 60 years (IQR, 42–72) and 55 years (IQR, 48–62) years, respectively. Among hospitalized participants, the prevalence of colonization with FQ- or 3GC-resistant GNB was 47% (95% CI, 43%–50%) and 41% (95% CI, 38%–45%), respectively, whereas the prevalence of MDR-GNB colonization was 27% (95% CI, 24%–31%). In the community setting, the prevalence of colonization with either FQ-, 3GC-resistant GNB, or MDR-GNB was 40% (95% CI, 34%–45%), 29% (95% CI, 24%– 34%), and 5% (95% CI, 3%–8%), respectively. Independent risk factors for hospital MDR-GNB colonization included the hospital of admission, unit of hospitalization (intensive care units carried the highest risk), in-hospital antimicrobial exposure, comorbidities (Charlson index), and length of stay. In the community setting, recent antibiotic exposure (<3 months) predicted colonization with either FQ- or 3GC-resistant GNB, and alcohol consumption was inversely associated with MDR GNB colonization. Conclusions: A high burden of colonization with AR-GNB was observed in this sample of hospitalized and community-dwelling adults in Chile. The high burden of colonization with GNB resistant to commonly used antibiotics such as FQ and 3GC found in community dwellers, suggests that the community may be a relevant source of antibiotic resistance. Efforts to understand relatedness between resistant strains circulating in the community and the hospital are needed.
This essay revisits Tim Supple’s film version of Twelfth Night (2003) 15 years after it was made in the light of some recent (2018) correspondence with its director. It shows how Supple’s multi-cultural version anticipates contemporary crises over asylum, immigration and refugees.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have increased susceptibility to anxiety disorders. Variation in a common ASD symptom, insistence on sameness behaviour, may predict future anxiety symptoms.
To describe the joint heterogeneous longitudinal trajectories of insistence on sameness and anxiety in children with ASD and to characterise subgroups at higher risk for anxiety.
In a longitudinal ASD cohort (n = 421), insistence on sameness behaviour was measured using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised at approximately ages 3, 6 and 11 years. Anxiety was quantified at 8 time points between ages 3 and 11 years using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) (parent report). Clusters of participants following similar trajectories were identified using group-based and joint trajectory modelling.
Three insistence on sameness trajectories were identified: (a) ‘low-stable’ (41.7% of participants), (b) ‘moderate-increasing’ (52.0%) and (c) ‘high-peaking’ (i.e. increasing then stabilising/decreasing behaviour) (6.3%). Four anxiety trajectories were identified: (a) ‘low-increasing’ (51.0%), (b) ‘moderate-decreasing’ (16.2%), (c) ‘moderate-increasing’ (19.6%) and (d) ‘high-stable’ (13.1%). Of those assigned to the ‘high-peaking’ insistence on sameness trajectory, 95% jointly followed an anxiety trajectory that surpassed the threshold for clinical concern (T-score >65) by middle childhood (anxiety trajectories 3 or 4). Insistence on sameness and anxiety trajectories were similar in severity and direction for 64% of the sample; for 36%, incongruous patterns were seen (e.g. decreasing anxiety and increasing insistence on sameness).
The concurrent assessment of insistence on sameness behaviour and anxiety in ASD may help in understanding current symptom profiles and anticipating future trajectories. High preschool insistence on sameness in particular may be associated with elevated current or future anxiety symptoms.